Most of us already know about standard preventative and recovery methods like stretching, foam rolling and, of course, rest days. However, there are a few novel and innovative recovery tips that are just as effective in helping you get ready for another hard session on the bike.
Is the secret to better recovery in your pantry? In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s athletes began mixing sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with water and drinking it, as a buffer to neutralize muscle acidosis and balance pH levels. But ingesting products with NaHCO3 frequently causes major stomach issues to the point where only a handful of pro cyclists are willing to use. Now there’s an alternate way to receive the same benefits without the GI distress—Topical Edge's Performance and Recovery Lotion.
Performance & Recovery Lotion utilizes a patented transdermal technology that absorbs directly through skin, so you can push harder and recover quicker to do it again the next day. Simply apply directly to working muscles before kitting up for a ride, run or workout and the formula will work to cause less muscle burn during hard efforts. More significantly, research actually showed more than a 50 percent decrease in post-workout muscle soreness, which means the ability to recover faster.
We tried Topical Edge prior to a 100K road race—the same race we suffered severe cramps in last season—and were able to ride to the point of exhaustion with zero muscle issues.
We tried Topical Edge prior to a 100K road race—the same race we suffered severe cramps in last season—and were able to ride to the point of exhaustion with zero muscle issues. Heck, we even had enough left in the tank for the sprint finish.
ACTIVE.com readers get 20 percent off Topical Edge products. Use code ACTIVE at checkout.
Self-massage tools are easy to come by and easy to use. The best part? To master myofascial relief, you don’t necessarily need a foam roller. Instead, check around your house for sphere-shaped objects that will really dig into your muscles. If your day job requires a lot of sitting, bring a golf ball and roll out the bottoms of your feet during the day, or use a tennis ball to work out kinks in your hamstrings or upper back. Need to roll out your calves? A rolling pin will do the trick.
Similar to an ice bath, cryotherapy can be used to enhance recovery. Here’s how it works: Instead of immersing yourself in chilly water, cryotherapy protocols include standing for two to four minutes in a chamber with air that’s been cooled to -250 degrees Fahrenheit. But the benefits don’t really start until after you leave the chamber. As your body begins to warm back up, blood flows back through your body in what is called “vasodilation,” helping to reduce inflammation, repair muscles more quickly and cut down on pain.